I have a fishing question/Drop Shot. It works! update

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by PAcanis, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    As you know, I haven't fished in quite a while.
    Back in the day, at least anyone I knew and fished with, if we were fishing live bait a popular way to rig was to attach a sinker to rest on the bottom, typically a teardrop, and use one, two or three of those store bought fish hooks with the 6" or so of line with a loop on it. This was snapped onto a barrel swivel/snap swivel or two.
    I don't recall having a name for it.

    Now what I am seeing is called a drop shot rig and used with artificial lures.
    You still have a sinker on the bottom, but it is a breakaway design. Good idea.
    And instead of the hook being on a short leader it is tied directly to the line.

    Is this the new and improved version of 1980's fishing?
    Has this always been around?
    And I won't ask, because this obviously this system works, but I'll say that having the hook tied right to the line seems like your line might get in the way. But apparently that doesn't happen. Or isn't any more a problem than having the hook on a short leader.
    Can you fish live bait like this, too?

    The hook right on the line is a new concept to me, but I'd like to know more about it.
    Maybe either I was never exposed to this, or it's something that had I continued to fish right up to the present I would have graduated over to it.
     
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  2. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

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    I grew up with the swivel and hooks tied to a short piece of line with a loop on the end aka Snelled hooks. Use split shot for weight. And still use nightcrawlers for bait.

    Still use em.
     
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  3. Sefton

    Sefton Supporter Supporter

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  4. rustystove2017

    rustystove2017 Guide

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    Drop shotting has been around for quite some time- BASS tourney fisherman Gary Klein was a real early adopter decades ago- works great in heavily pressured deep and clear waters- think CA reservoirs. Small plastic finesse worms- sometimes had poured and most often straight tailed stick worms will sometimes work well. Some of the drop shot weights- particularly the tungsten weights are quite pricey.

    rigg-dropshot-2012.jpg
     
  5. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    I use them for salt water. Called a high/low rig.
     
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  6. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I probably know 50 different ways to rig a line from my days of match and carp fishing. Back then new methods were coming out almost weekly. Stiff rigs, soft rigs, helicopter rigs, method feeder rigs, cage feeder rigs, shock rigs, silt rigs river rigs, still water rigs, winter rigs, maggot rigs, pellet rigs on and on and for every one I know there are 20 more that I don’t. I have a tackle box that is nothing but rubber beads, snap links, rubber sleeves, connectors and swivels of every size, color and description. But like everything in the end it’s not the arrow it’s the Indian. It doesn’t matter what you put in the water if you cannot read that water and put your bait where the fish are and then detect a bite you might as well take up golf.

    The rig you describe falls into the broad category of lead ahead of the bait. The helicopter rig is a refinement of it. The exact rig you’re seeing is a very old one, in Europe that variation of it is illegal on most commercial venues as it can tether fish to the lead if they break it off. It’s a good rig for deep silt as the lead will sink and leave the bait suspended above the silty bottom if you set the lead to bait length right. It’s a very good distance rig, and if fished taunt give excellent bait detection. It’s also a good boat rig for jigging as it will both find the bottom and set the depth of the bait.
     
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  7. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter

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    From my perspective, the drop shot rig is specifically intended for artificial bait but was probably adapted from a method of fishing live bait. Tying the hook directly to the line above the sinker allows you to impart some direct action into the artificial bait (usually a buoyant worm or minnow imitation) without lifting your sinker off of the bottom.

    If you are fishing live bait, I think that adding the swivel and extra section of leader material allows the bait to move freely and independently of the main line. While it is a similar rig to the drop shot rig, it is probably designed with an opposite intention. This actually makes it a substantially different way of fishing.

    In the drop shot rig, the line may occasionally get in the way, but that's a small price to pay for the benefit of imparting better action (also, the drop shot is usually tied with light line, which makes interference negligible). I see no real reason to rig your live bait with a drop shot rig, as you aren't trying to fool the fish by making a fake worm wiggle in a tempting little dance. That being said, it still works with live bait! I tried a drop shot with night-crawlers once to catch some panfish that were on the bottom, and was successful. However, I don't love fishing live bait. I think fishing artificial is fun, because it involves the strategy of trying to trick the fish (making it a more active style of fishing). If you like fishing live bait, then go for it! However, live and artificial require very different strategies, so the rigs are usually optimized for one strategy or the other.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  8. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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  9. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for adding the pic. I probably should have done that.
    I planned on using split shot for the sinker. Should come off if I snag and I can tailor the weight needed.


    Thanks for all the info.
    I hadn't thought about imparting action without moving it along the bottom. It seems everyone I've seen works it back slowly.
    It seems perfect for shore fishermen who know where they are getting hits, but don't want to work the jig back to them. Back when I ice fished we used to use small jigs with a live minnow or grub tied directly to the line and a couple split shot for weight above. Sometimes that slight movement was needed to trigger the bite. I can now see this working exactly the same. Just that the sinker is in a different spot.

    Yup, I'm grasping the idea now :dblthumb:
     
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  10. rustystove2017

    rustystove2017 Guide

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  11. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Those goofballs at FishUSA tried to sell me tungsten sinkers when I was first getting set up. They had the pinched eye to wedge your line into, which I know now. I asked them why the eye looked like that and when they couldn't tell me I said just get me regular teardrop sinkers.
    Now I know why they were pu$hing them :eek:
     
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  12. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Well, I'm rigged. I had to go to Wally World for some suitable No1 hooks. All my larger hooks have the crink in them for TX rigging and such. From the 1's they jumped down to 4's in a round style, so I got some of those, too.
    Gonna hit that small pond that I was at yesterday sometime tomorrow and try to fish the bottom. See if I can find some of the lunkers that are supposed to be in there.
    And also see if that's where all the panfish were hiding.
     
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  13. rustystove2017

    rustystove2017 Guide

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    will you be casting from the bank or fishing out of a small john boat? IIRC correctly drop shotting is usually almost vertical fishing from a boat- but let us know however it works out- you ever try dragging a Spro Frog over the matted algae?
     
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  14. Robert Highhawk

    Robert Highhawk Scout

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    The drop shot works great for bass here in Florida. I use a 1/8 to 1/4 oz bell sinker, drop sot hook about 2 feet above sinker. Rig a straight plastic worm by hooking the nose of the worm or rig in the wacky style. I use 10# test on spinning gear.
     
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  15. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Both. Kind of.
    I'll test the waters, so to speak, fishing the pond I was at yesterday off the bank.
    There are only two decent places to cast from and I'm hoping to cast it to the deep spot and work it in that area. Or slowly work it back.
    The small jigs I was fishing the other day below the surface got loaded up every cast with algae and grass. But I was catching fish anyway, if they hit it right away before bringing it back through the muck. I'm hoping to work the bait along the bottom and avoid the algae.

    And I'll also be tossing it from my kayak. Not exactly vertical fishing, as it's not that deep and I'm in a boat, so I cast it out. It's also a very grassy bottom.
     
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  16. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Lake fishing for trout I have 20# line with a slide sinker then swivel and 2# test leader using a size 18 treble hook and a selection of floating bait .
    This allows the bait to float well above the weeds and the fish to usually swallow the hook and not feel the weight till it's too late . I can see movement before the weight is disturbed much.
    For bass I use lures and spoons depending on the time of day .
    For streams and brooks I use hellgrammites or salmon eggs on size 18 treble hooks.
    no ocean fishing except sturgeon in river inlets in which case 60# test , Stainless steel leaders and bull head caught previously that day. and balloon fishing.
    Caught one took all my line and kept going. thought I caught a submarine.
     
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  17. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Sounds like the Carolina rig.
    Some folks put a bead between the slip sinker and barrel swivel to help protect the knot.
     
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  18. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I tried out the drop shot rig today at the pond. Caught one fish with some weight to her (the one laying on the ground with no size reference, lol). Still gotta work on my fish picture taking skills ;)
    Fun time. Sometimes I was catching them on the first cast into a new area. Others, I was working the worm back slowly and felt it sink into a deeper spot, then Wham! Probably caught a dozen overall.

    GOPR0051.jpg

    GOPR0052.jpg

    GOPR0053.jpg

    GOPR0054.jpg

    I worked on my baitcasting, too. That's a learning curve with this braided line. Even with the tension set high sometimes I was letting the spool get ahead of the frog. Maybe I needed a heavier bait. It would be on its way then hit a brick wall as one loop formed on the reel. I was getting there though. Good practice with no one around ;)
    Sometimes the fish were hitting as soon as the frog hit the water.
    GOPR0055.jpg

    If I could only find the bluegill that are supposed to be in there... I might have to dig up some worms.
     
  19. rustystove2017

    rustystove2017 Guide

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    Nice work....I love summer slop fishing- you never know what you might catch. I caught a 6 or 7lb Snapping Turle on a Black Spro Frog- I thought I had a 10 lb Bass on and when it go to the bank- and I see two clawed feet and about 5 lbs of moss on top of one pissed off Turtle...no swimmin' in that pond anymore...
     
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  20. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    There's a nice size snapper in this pond. Sometimes he's out sunning himself.
     
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  21. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Let me just say... :34:

    Last night I re-rigged my two spinning reels. I felt like the heavier and longer pole would be better with bass sized drop shot rigs. I'll use the light action for small lures and targeting panfish. No problem there.

    I just put them in the back of my Cherokee and took my baitcaster out. I was going to fiddle with the centrifugal braking and see if I could figure out why sometimes it casts good... and other times I can't cast 20ft without a sudden stop and backlash. And I found the problem :oops:

    Here, who knows when, I had managed to thread one of the guides TWICE.
    I noticed that the line seemed to have a jog in it, not run straight, between the reel and the tip. About the fourth guide down it had a slight bend or change in direction. Further inspection showed that I had passed the braided line through the guide twice. I must have dropped the line as I was threading it and thought I had missed it, then threaded it a second time. Carrying on through the last couple guides and the tip.
    I'm surprised I could cast at all, but this explains why sometimes it reeled harder than other times. All depending on if the line was binding on itself or coiled to allow free movement.

    This reel is a casting machine now :dblthumb:
    What an idiot, can't see what I'm doing, move :17:
    I have never had that happen before.
     
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  22. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter

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    Nice success!
     
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  23. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    That's a nice looking bass!

    I've been using a drop shot rig for bass for a few years now. It's taken a while to learn the various lessons, tho. Fishing in very clear water calls for using flourocarbon line as a leader, and that requires special knots. If you just tie your hook onto the line with a Palomar knot, like you would with nylon monofilament line, you will have a very weak knot and it will break easily. So I had to learn a better knot for the flourocarbon. Then I found that if I tied a sinker onto the end of the line and it got hung up in the rocks and I tried to pull it loose, it would break the line, either at the sinker or up at the hook. No good. So I started just using several split shot on the end of the line. That works a lot better. They are skinnier than a single sinker, so they avoid getting hung up in rocks a bit better. Also if they do get hung up they slide off the line instead of causing it to break.
    I like the drop shot rig for bait fishing on the bottom too. The idea is that when the fish picks up the bait he doesn't have to lift the sinkers before you feel or see it. There's nothing between the hook and your rod except line. Having the hook on a short leader (like those "snelled" hooks you buy in packages) gives it more chance to tangle and wind around your main line. So I don't think they work as well as a drop shot rig. If I had to use one rig for bait on the bottom, or artificials it would be the drop shot rig. I've been using a weightless bait like a senko or a tube a lot for fishing shallow water. It's a much more natural presentation than putting weight on the line. I still use the drop shot rig for this, I just take the split shots off the lower line. When I want to fish deeper, I put some split shot back on.
     
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  24. Kennebago

    Kennebago Scout

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    Don't feel bad. I re-rigged my bass rod a couple of weeks ago and found out I'd missed a guide entirely.

    I fished it on and off like that for months.
     
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  25. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks guys!
    And thanks for the moral, or is that mortal, support @Kennebago ;)
     
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